Blogs: Mechanical Engineering

Blood, Sweat, and Tears

When a PhD gets personal

MAY 2019
Mechanical Engineering
Some people choose their PhD projects based on raw scientific curiosity. Some seek buzz words, industry partners, or flashy technology to jumpstart profitable future careers. Some find their projects based on available funding. Me? I chose my project because it had almost killed me. Sepsis. Global...

You Can't Run Before You Walk

Navigating the initial stressful months at MIT

APR 2019
Mechanical Engineering
After completing my undergraduate studies in 2014, I began a slow-paced government job in India. As part of the job, I got a chance to explore the depth and widths of the country, with temperatures ranging from -10oC to 50oC. Overall it was an enriching experience, it taught me a lot about the...

Weighted Decision Matrices and the Happiness Question

How I decided to come to MIT

MAR 2019
Mechanical Engineering
Deciding to pursue a Ph.D. and finding appropriate programs was straightforward for me; choosing where to go was much more tortuous. Even before I had received any acceptance letters, I fretted over the question: “How will I choose?”. Should I choose the most prestigious school? The cheapest city,...

A Perfect Campus Tour

See most of MIT in 30 minutes

MAR 2019
Mechanical Engineering
I have been at MIT for almost two and a half years, and during this time I have repeatedly been asked to give campus tours to visiting friends and family. Though most of campus is within walking distance, extremely convoluted paths resulting from high building density and weird building numbering...

Finding Belonging through Community

Make the time to seek out familiar spaces

NOV 2018
Mechanical Engineering
There’s a common feeling that many incoming graduate students can attest to: I don’t belong here. MIT seems designed to keep us feeling this way, perhaps as motivation to work long hours, or perhaps to perpetuate its imposing reputation. It starts from the moment of acceptance. Elation and surprise...

Undercover Art

Discovering the (not so) hidden artsy side of MIT

MARCH 2018
Mechanical Engineering
Before coming to MIT, I had this idea in my head that it was a super tech focused, STEM-driven institution. And it is, in many ways. But thinking of it that way scared me a little, because despite being a physics major in undergrad and a mechanical engineering major now that I’m in graduate school...

Being a Muslim Woman at MIT

Why I choose to wear a hijab and how it has affected my graduate school experience

SPRING 2017
Mechanical Engineering
On a sunny day last fall, I wanted to try cooking a typical Indonesian food called ‘rendang,’ a delicious spicy beef curry.  Figure 1. Rendang is best served with warm jasmine rice, shrimp crackers, and fresh cucumber. I left my apartment to go grocery shopping while catching Pokemon at the same...

Get Beyond the Bubble

The importance of interacting with non-MIT people during graduate school

SPRING 2017
by Lee W.
Mechanical Engineering
Last Saturday night I was in my living room surrounded by a dozen people, but there was only one topic of conversation: the joys and sorrows of working at a hospital. My girlfriend Jaimie is a psychiatry resident, and we had invited her co-residents over for dinner. Doctor-talk monopolizing the...

Confessions of a Green Tea Addict

Where to find quality green tea in the MIT area

SPRING 2017
Mechanical Engineering
Just as some people are addicted to coffee, I am addicted to green tea. However, I think ‘addiction’ is a too strong of a word. I do not drink green tea twice a day in my office while working on research and problem sets, like how others drink their coffee. I cannot recall the exact time when I...

Confronting AlphaGo

The value of human teachers in the age of machines

SPRING 2017
by Lee W.
Mechanical Engineering
In March 2016, world champion Go player Lee Sedol was defeated by the computer program AlphaGo in a five-game match. As someone who doesn’t play Go, follow professional Go, or study computer science, this shouldn't have been a big...